Dec 14 2011

#228 “Missing Piece”

From Anna in Little Rock, Arkansas

When we examine this illustration, I think we’re really presented with only two choices for our interpretation of its meaning. On the one hand, the artist behind this picture might have simply chosen to draw the hind end of the lupine subject because (as many artists know all too well) drawing the head/bust of a wolf is a very difficult task. On the other hand, this picture may present a metaphor about the constant busyness that has crept into our lives and has become such a dominant force that we can’t seem to sit still for more than a moment. Much like the wolf, we are in constant motion in our lives, “hunting” for something to fill our time and to prove that there is meaning in our existence. But unlike the wolf, which hunts for nourishment out of necessity, our hunt is one that is produced by an insecurity that something within us is lacking or that something is simply “missing.” In a global society that has progressed to the point where individuals in developed countries live lives in which every need is met before it is even felt, people reside just below the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and are desperately searching for self-accualization. In one sense this is great because it means that most of us live lives of safety and security, but at the same time, having these basic needs met leaves spare mental imagery that is often used to examine our own place in the world. Then, when the mind embarks on this difficult task, it is often so overwhelmed that it desperately searches for distraction. Thus, we end up filling our daily lives with meaningless tasks and distractions in a self-delusional attempt to fill a gaping hole in our own existence. Just as the front half of this wolf is missing from the illustration, the meaning and purpose of our own lives is lost to us, and we are on a constant hunt to fill the void in whatever way we can.

But please know that as I type this, I am not only speaking to you. I am also speaking to myself. Think about it- the constant hours of promoting this project, the early mornings and late nights spent hanging flyers to ask for wolf artwork from strangers, the days spent cataloging illustrations, the day-today postings that eat away at my time on this earth. What is all of this for? Is this the purpose for which I was designed? Or is this merely a distraction from my true purpose? Am I like this wolf, running from the spotlight so that I won’t have to examine my own self and so I won’t be seen by others? Maybe I am. Maybe. I. Am….